More Women Are Now Getting Pregnant In Their 30s Than 20s For The First Time Ever
The number of women getting pregnant in their thirties has surpassed women in their twenties for the first time since records began, a study has found.
In 2017, there were 398,284 pregnancies among women aged 30 and above, compared to 395,856 pregnancies among women in their twenties, according to the Office for National Statistics (ONS).
This data covers England and Wales in 2017, the most recent year for which figures are available, and covers conceptions and abortions, not taking into account whether pregnancies end in birth or miscarriage.
It comes as Meghan Markle prepares to welcome her first child with Prince Harry at the age of 37.
Reasons for this rise include women deciding to spend more time in education and work, and the rising cost of bearing a child, the Office for National Statistics said.
Natika H Halil, of sexual health charity, FPA, said the figures "could show that women are waiting longer to have children, which might be due to a number of reasons, including but not limited to: higher costs of living, fewer young people able to afford mortgages, or perhaps feeling less pressure or desire to start a family."
These factors have also seen the number of pregnancies in women over 40 more than double since 1990, being the only group to see an increase (2.6 per cent) in pregnancy rates.
Conversely, there was all-time-low in women aged 25 and under getting pregnant, with teen pregnancies at their lowest. In 2017, just 18 teenagers out of every 1,000 fell pregnant compared to the start of the 1990s, when 48 out of 1,000 teenagers became pregnant.
Kathryn Littleboy, from the ONS's vital statistics output branch, said: "Conception rates for women aged under 18 years in England and Wales decreased for the tenth year running in 2017.
"Possible reasons for the continued decrease in teenage conception rates include improved sex and relationship education, better access to contraceptives and increased participation in higher education.
"By contrast, for the second year in a row, women aged 40 years and over were the only age group for whom conception rates increased. This could relate to the rising costs of childbearing and housing, among other reasons."
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